Innocence Found: 1 Granary Debuts Its Impressive Second Issue
“Real life is very different than being a student,” offered Sara McAlpine, an undergraduate at London’s Central Saint Martins and the editor of the college’s magazine, 1 Granary. “You hit roadblocks—you have to worry about financing and about people with whom you want to collaborate with saying no,” she continued. The second issue of 1 Granary, a publication which was founded by its current editor in chief, Olya Kuryshchuk, in 2013, is about celebrating the pure creativity that comes with studying at CSM. Thus, the sophomore effort is aptly titled “Age of Innocence.” “It might seem a bit kitsch, but we felt it described the time that we’re in,” explained McAlpine. “This is our time to be creative. And as naive as we are, we decided to ask anyone who’s anyone if they want to work with us. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”
Smart cookies, those CSM kids, and their no-holds-barred attitude resulted in an issue filled with 240 pages of content (not ads, mind you) that most fully financed titles would struggle to get. Alongside shoots and stories that champion CSM student work, there are interviews with Christopher Kane and Ai Weiwei, as well as striking photographs by Rachel Chandler Guinness and SHOWstudio’s Nick Knight. But these heavy hitters didn’t agree to work with the 1 Granary crew out of charity. “It’s not the Bucket Challenge or anything like that,” McAlpine laughed. “The magazine is a space where established names can let loose. [These people] remember that time when they had to jump hurdles and make themselves known straight out of university. And we’re not tied to advertisers—we’re not dependent on them—so I think they actually found that refreshing.”
A handful of the insiders in Issue 2 reminisce about their time of “innocence” at Saint Martins, a sentiment that’s beautifully illustrated by the above Johnnie Shand Kydd-lensed photo of a young Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo (both CSM alums). But the issue also addresses the future—for instance, budding menswear star and CSM grad Craig Green gives an interview, and the cover features student Louisa Ballou surrounded by her peers. Ballou also appears inside the issue wearing Christopher Kane ( below). The abovementioned images debut exclusively here.
The past few years have marked a time of transition for Central Saint Martins: In 2011, the college moved from its storied, dilapidated fashion building on Charing Cross Road to a shiny new campus at King’s Cross, and earlier this year, the Fashion MA program, which launched the careers of designers like Alexander McQueen and Christopher Kane, mourned the passing of its beloved course director, professor Louise Wilson. (It’s worth noting that she was a staunch supporter of 1 Granary). Mix in the fact that university fees in the U.K. are higher than they’ve ever been, and one has to wonder: Can CSM continue to be the creative petri dish that birthed the likes of Katie Grand, Hussein Chalayan, and John Galliano? “I think one of the great interviews in our magazine is with [ GQ's] Dylan Jones,” said McAlpine, when asked this particular question. “He [recalled] how he walked through the art studios of the new building, and he said it felt exactly the same [as when he was a student in the '80s]. He said the feeling was still there. I think it’s quite poignant for someone like him to walk through 20 years later and say that.”
1 Granary‘s second issue is set to hit SHOWstudio’s London shop on August 28, and will later hit British and international retailers including Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Colette, Bookmarc, and more. The magazine will also be available at 1granary.com for £6.90. So what does McAlpine hope readers take away from the 15,000 copies that will be distributed worldwide? “I want [readers] to realize that London is an incredibly exciting place. That CSM is an incredibly exciting place. I want them to know that there are young people banding together, doing something great for the sake of being creative. I want them to know that creativity isn’t dead, basically. It’s not been killed by commercialism.” Considering what these students have achieved—and how hard they’ve worked to achieve it—they seem well on their way to succeeding in the “real world.” And perhaps we’d all benefit from embracing some of our own youthful innocence.
Photos: Laurence Ellis; Johnnie Shand Kydd; all courtesy of 1 Granary